An Irrational hatred of Watford
Tim Allman, Capital Canaries I don't know what it is about Watford arouses my antipathy so much. They are my nearest league club, so I really should take more of an interest than I do, which is currently confined to hoping that they stay in the same division as Norwich, which will mean an easy away game to get to.
Tim Allman, Capital Canaries
I don't know what it is about Watford arouses my antipathy so much. They are my nearest league club, so I really should take more of an interest than I do, which is currently confined to hoping that they stay in the same division as Norwich, which will mean an easy away game to get to.
Even when they gate-crashed the old Division 1 with their Graham Taylor brand of up and at 'em football, I wasn't remotely interested in how they fared. When they reached the Cup Final my only reaction was to laugh at Elton John when he cried during “Abide With Me”, and to congratulate Andy Gray on shoulder charging Steve Sherwood into the net for Everton's second goal
I should have some sympathy with the place as I was there with my Dad in 1972 when we won the old Second Division Championship, and there was that memorable promotion party match when we last won at Vicarage Road, back in 2004.
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I've only ever gone to Watford as an away supporter, and three of those visits have been to support another club. Once was with a few West Ham supporting pals, another time was to see West Brom with a mate from work, and the most recently against Middlesboro, when Keith O'Neill was playing for them. My record as a non-Norwich away supporter stands at two victories and a draw. I recall feeling almost distraught following the draw against West Brom when Watford snatched a late equaliser in a memorable three-all draw.
And talking of being an away supporter; I recall having to walk three sides of a field containing allotments to get into the away end. Another reason to dislike the place.
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It's certainly not jealousy. Watford have had some success in the last few years, as have Norwich. I can't be jealous of their ground, with half of one side condemned and the other half looking like it is held together with sellotape and string.
And I'm not sorry that we lost out on their messiah, Aidy Boothroyd, an ambitious man who moved onwards and upwards. It happens in any walk of life. Who knows whether he would have been a success at Norwich?
Maybe it's because back in the early nineties my other team, Wealdstone, lost a stack of cash by buying a share in the lease of Vicarage Road for a seven figure sum; a ground-share move that was doomed to failure from Day 1. Wealdstone ended up walking away from the deal with nothing.
It's maybe that one of their fans, who I have the grave misfortune to know and possibly the most annoying man on the planet is one of their supporters.
Over the years my antipathy towards Watford has turned into real resentment for all these reasons, or more than likely none of them. It's just that they are the local club I don't support.
And so we came to Tuesday's annual biannual defeat against the Hornets. There's no denying that Watford were the most efficient championship side to have visited Carrow Road in the last twelve months, but the best footballing side? No chance. That title still rests with West Brom.
So what were Watford better than Norwich at?
Much better at playing awful football. Safety first, get it into the danger areas, break the play down and move it forward quickly, rigor-mortis inducing football. Definitely better at playing offside trap football. Get that back line up quickly, compress the play, nullify the opposition, crowd them out, yawn inducing football. Unquestionably the superior team at playing running down the clock football. Take that goal kick from the other side, whoops there's two balls on the pitch, kick the ball away, and run a free kick into the corner after 86 minutes, wrist-slitting football. And undeniably the ones who excelled at kicking it further football. Punt, hoof, thump, air mile collecting, neck brace inducing football. And also, and most importantly in the Championship, much better at pace and power football. Run faster, kick it harder, jump higher, throw it further and grind them down, American Football.
And do know what the most galling thing about it is? That's exactly the way we should be playing if we want to see Championship football at Carrow Road next season.